New 'Patient Hotels' could clear A&E logjam

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Plaid Cymru has proposed the establishment of ‘patient hotels’ to ease pressure on hospitals.

The concept, which is widely used in Scandinavian countries, would free up beds and prevent ambulances from being stuck outside hospitals while waiting to transfer patients.

Counter to proposals for people to put up patients in their homes, these ‘patient hospitals’ would be applicable to patients who no longer require 24 hour medical care. They are set up to the highest clinical standards and are commonly used to accommodate older patients awaiting discharge or supporting patients who are recovering from a stroke.

Rhondda AM Leanne has said the Labour Government in Wales needs to consider innovative means of reducing pressure on the NHS.

“So-called ‘patient hotels’ would be a cost-effective way to easing the burden on our hospitals and on our NHS staff,” said Ms Wood. “It makes no sense for highly-skilled and over worked ambulance staff to be waiting in ambulances for hours on end while waiting to transfer a patient to a hospital bed.

“In many hospitals in Wales, there are bottlenecks in the system. Patient hotels work in other parts of Europe so there is no reason why this system should be adopted in Wales.

“This is a much better solution to the problem than the proposals for people to be paid to take patients into their homes.

“Long-term, the full integration of health and social care would make the biggest difference to reducing pressure in the system but ‘patient hotels’ can be set up relatively quickly and cost effectively.

“I urge the Labour Cabinet Secretary for Health to look into this system so we can free-up hospital beds and free-up ambulance staff.”

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